Last Update: 10/21/20
We’ve posted before about the motivation of every good Florida insurance adjuster (their company’s bottom line), no need to go into details about the adjuster’s goal again here. For those Florida losses where the policyholder wants to try and settle with their insurance company on their own, it’s important that they know the adjuster isn’t playing on their team; many Floridians understand this and don’t feel the need to get a Florida lawyer on board to help them resolve their claim on their insurance policy.
Which is fine. Many claims get resolved to everyone’s satisfaction without the need for a lawyer to advocate for the claimant against the insurance company’s representatives.
However, there are times when insight from a Florida personal injury lawyer is a welcomed ally to someone trying to get a fair and just payment on their insurance claim – particularly when that claim needs to cover a large loss (severe personal injury, totaled car, major property damage, etc.). Having help from a Florida attorney with years of experience in fighting insurance companies at both the negotiation table and at trial only adds to balance out the bargaining power between claimant and insurer. So, here’s how we can help:
6 Issues to consider when dealing with an insurance adjuster in settlement of your Florida injury claim on your own:
1. Any recorded statement that you make can be used to limit or deny your claim at a later date. (See our earlier post on recorded statements.)
2. You must do your homework so your claim settlement offer will be respected. Tell the insurance company that you want a very high number and they’ll prepare for a fight against someone they consider to be looking for a windfall; give the adjuster a number that is too low and they’ll be more than happy to pay you less than you are entitled to receive.
What homework? Know the value of the car, and the cost of repairs. Get estimates. Find out the long term care costs for seriously injured claimants as well as things like lost wages, lost earning capacity, etc.
3. Know the bottom line on your claim — you need a tally of the total injuries involved over time. This can be complicated and cumbersome to calculate. Documents like medical records, employment records, property values, and more may be needed. Without that final total, however, you may get a final claims payment that doesn’t end up covering the entire loss.
4. If a lot of money is at stake, then your insurance claim means more money leaving the coffers of the insurance company and your claim is going to get more scrutiny by the adjuster (and his bosses). These are professionals who know lots of ways to get that claims settlement offer as low as possible and they aren’t going to share their strategy with you, even it’s not an industry secret.
5. Their “final offer” may not be the final offer. It may come with a warning to take it or leave it.
6. If an insurance company representative admits that its insured was liable for the accident, this doesn’t mean they won’t argue a different story later in the game. Liability is a technical term and a key element of any trial; don’t assume that if they say they agree with your position that you are the innocent in the accident that this is set in stone. That’s a jury determination, if it comes to that, from their point of view.
Get Our Free Downloadable E-Book on How To Settle Your Injury Claim Without a Lawyer – No Email Required
We know that many victims want to settle their injury cases without the help of an attorney. So, we created a 23 page e-book to help. Of course, the e-book and this blog post is for informational purposes only and is not intended to be legal advice.
Note: It is important to know that pursuing a personal injury case is likely going to take more time and effort than most people think it will and it is likely to be difficult no matter how straightforward the case appears to be.
What Should You Do?
A good piece of advice if you have questions after an insurance adjuster contacts you about your claim, is to speak with an experienced personal injury lawyer to learn about some of the issues that can arise with a claim, including the type of evidence needed to prove a claim and the type and amount of damages you can recover. Most personal injury lawyers, like Alan Sackrin, will offer a free initial consultation (over the phone or in-person) to answer your questions.
- 5 Documents To Add To Your Slip And Fall Demand Letter
- Are Florida Insurance Adjusters On Your Side?: Beware of the Denied Claim, the Low Ball Claim and the Recorded Statement.
- 5 Things You Should Know About Car Insurance Adjusters When You Have A Car Accident Claim
Do you have questions or comments? Then please feel free to send Alan an email or call him now at (954) 458-8655.